With Teeth

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This article is about the Nine Inch Nails album. For the Broadside Electric album, see With Teeth (Broadside Electric album). For the Melvins song, see Lysol (album).
With Teeth
The letters NIN set against a blue background with black, organic-looking outcroppings of black.
Studio album by Nine Inch Nails
Released May 3, 2005
Recorded September–December 2004
Nothing Studios, New Orleans
The Village Recorder, Sound City Studios, Grandmaster Recording Studios, Los Angeles
Genre Industrial rock, alternative rock
Length 56:05
Label Nothing, Interscope
Producer Trent Reznor, Alan Moulder
Nine Inch Nails chronology
The Fragile
(1999)
With Teeth
(2005)
Year Zero
(2007)
Singles from With Teeth
  1. "The Hand That Feeds"
    Released: March 28, 2005
  2. "Only"
    Released: July 25, 2005
  3. "Every Day Is Exactly the Same"
    Released: April 4, 2006
Halo numbers chronology
"Halo 18"
(2005)
"Halo 19"
(2005)
"Halo 20"
(2005)

With Teeth (stylized as [WITH_TEETH]) is the fourth studio album by American industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails, released on May 3, 2005, by Interscope Records. The album was produced by Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor and long-time collaborator Alan Moulder. It was Reznor's first original studio album since The Fragile, released in 1999. Reznor has indicated that the album is influenced by his battle with, and recovery from, alcoholism and substance abuse between albums.

With Teeth became an immediate commercial success, debuting at number one on the Billboard 200 and selling more than 272,000 copies in its first week. The album generated three singles: "The Hand That Feeds", "Only", and "Every Day Is Exactly the Same", which all became number-one singles on Billboard's Hot Modern Rock Tracks chart.[1]

Background[edit]

Reznor garnered mainstream attention with his influential second album The Downward Spiral, as well as a widely broadcast live performance at Woodstock '94. From that point onward, Nine Inch Nails was among the most popular music acts of the 1990s. In 1997, Reznor appeared in Time magazine's list of the year's most influential people, and Spin magazine described him as "the most vital artist in music.".[2] However, Reznor's musical output was infrequent, having released only 3 major albums (excluding remixes and the 1992 EP Broken) from 1989 through 2005, with a rough average of five years between each release. During this time, Reznor became increasingly addicted to alcohol and drugs, resulting in erratic behavior, depression, and writer's block.

His 1999 double-album The Fragile was met with generally positive reviews from music critics and was a commercial success, selling over two million copies by the end of the year. However, it failed to attain the success of its predecessor and fell from the top of the Billboard after only a week. Afterwards, the only original Nine Inch Nails material released until 2005 was the 2000 remix album Things Falling Apart, as well as the 2001 single "Deep" from the Lara Croft: Tomb Raider soundtrack and Still. Reznor told Spin magazine in 2005 that "I was going to just drink myself or drug myself out of it. I got back to New Orleans after the Fragile tour, and I'd pretty much lost my soul."[3]

Writing and recording[edit]

Songwriting[edit]

After Reznor decided to go to rehab, he began work on a new album. The songwriting process moved along easier for Reznor than in the past. He said that it was due to having "a pretty good game plan [...] I had themes and subjects [...] As my brain started working, the songs just started to come out. I regained my self-confidence."[3]

Reznor originally planned the album to be a concept album, complete with a storyline. Reznor was quoted in a 2007 article saying:

I'd come up with this kind of elaborate storyline, and the record was gonna be a concept record that had a number of pretentious elements to it. I was gonna talk about multi-layered reality and waking up in a dream you can't wake up out of, and eventually finding acceptance after you go through this period of trying to fight it. It was all kind of a big analogy for me getting sober.[4]

Nothing Studios sessions[edit]

Reznor recorded the album at Nothing Studios in New Orleans, the last release he recorded at the location before permanently relocating to Los Angeles.[5]

The album was produced by Reznor and long-time Nine Inch Nails producer Alan Moulder, with engineering and assistance by Atticus Ross. The album was mixed in stereo and 5.1 surround sound.[6] Former Nirvana drummer and current Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl contributed drums and live percussion on seven tracks.[7][8] According to a statement on the official Nine Inch Nails website, Reznor stated that producer Rick Rubin was his "mentor" and "source of inspiration" throughout the planning and writing process of the album.[9]

Reznor was also heavily inspired by the use of more analog electronic effects and instruments, specifically tape delay and modular synthesizers.[5] A post on the band's official website dated May 5 indicated that Atticus Ross, Leo Herrera and Reznor were in the studio recording and "refining" rough new material. It also stated Jerome Dillon was on drums on these sessions.[10]

Post-production[edit]

Mixing began on October 28, and on New Year's Eve Reznor revealed that the album was complete, as well as the album's final title. The official name of the album as announced by Reznor is With Teeth (see Title and packaging section).[6][11]

Music and lyrics[edit]

"The Hand That Feeds", the first single from With Teeth.

Problems playing this file? See media help.

Before the album's release, Reznor described With Teeth as "more song-oriented" and "lean" than the previous Nine Inch Nails album, The Fragile (1999).[12] In reference to the album's sound, Reznor said he "tried to keep a lo-fi aesthetic running through it, a kind of carelessness."[3] Moreover, he stated the music was less of a concept album, and more of "a collection of songs that are friends with each other, but don't have to rely on each other to make sense".[13]

The album's lyrics tackle Reznor's opinion of himself, his relationship with the world around him and his place in it, as well as his struggles with addiction. Although it dealt with these issues, Reznor was hopeful that it was still "disguised enough that [it was] not a terribly boring record about recovery and addiction".[citation needed]

Reznor also drew influence from the September 11, 2001 attacks, which occurred shortly after his recovery. The album's first single, "The Hand That Feeds", was a direct example of the themes of protest and propagandist fear that helped influence the album.[14] These influences became more prominent in his next album, Year Zero, and the alternate reality game that accompanied it.[15]

There are over 30 expletives included in With Teeth. Inaugurating the majority of them evident on the album is "fuck", heard most commonly in "You Know What You Are?". This led to a Parental Advisory Explicit Lyrics sticker being printed on most copies, as seen on many editions,[16] and also being the final Nine Inch Nails studio album to be labelled as such.

Title and packaging[edit]

Concept art for Bleedthrough, by Rob Sheridan

Early reports indicated that the album had a working title of Bleedthrough.[17] Reznor stated that the name was eventually changed because "it was supposed to be about different layers of reality seeping into the next, but I think some people were thinking about blood or a tampon commercial."[18]

In a statement to fans on the official Nine Inch Nails website, Reznor explained that his dislike for the constraints of CD artwork led to the creation of a downloadable 20 megabyte 3'×4' poster, incorporating credits, lyrics, and artwork.[19][20] The poster, designed by Reznor and Rob Sheridan, contains lyrics that are not featured in the actual songs (a practice Reznor has continued since Pretty Hate Machine), as well as song titles and lyrics not featured on the album, possibly recorded but unreleased.[21] The poster is available to members of the official Nine Inch Nails fan club as part of the initial welcome package.

With Teeth is the last Nine Inch Nails studio album to include the Nothing Records logo in the packaging, since it was declared extinct after the February 2007 inclusion of the Beside You in Time home video.[22]

Release[edit]

Before the release of the album, fans were able to listen to With Teeth in its entirety by attending listening parties that took place in 13 cities throughout the U.S. Anyone who attended received promotional posters and stickers. Those who pre-ordered the album received a limited edition 7" vinyl containing the single "The Hand That Feeds," as well as the B-side track "Home." The album was promoted with seven short teaser trailers. The Fragile, Things Falling Apart and Year Zero were also promoted with trailers, as well as commercials.

With Teeth was released as a standard CD, double vinyl, a DualDisc and a CD/DVD combo.[23] In addition to 5.1 surround and stereo mixes of the songs, the DualDisc (and DVD) contain the video for "The Hand That Feeds", an interactive discography and a slide show of album artwork.

Reznor also released multitrack files for a few of the songs. In retrospect Reznor said, "That whole idea of putting up multitracks, really was just, several years ago, bored in a hotel room [...] just as an experiment I happened to have the multitracks with me--I think I was doing press for With Teeth--I loaded up "The Hand That Feeds" and made it as a multitrack, in GarageBand. [...] I thought it would be cool to give the sounds to people, and I knew the challenge would be to get that past Interscope, essentially giving the masters out. But they agreed."[24] Reznor has released multitrack files for every major Nine Inch Nails release up to, and including, The Slip.

Live: With Teeth tour[edit]

Reznor during a concert in San Diego during the Live: With Teeth tour
Main article: Live: With Teeth Tour

Nine Inch Nails live performances supported the album with a tour named Live: With Teeth. The touring lineup featured Jeordie White, Aaron North, Alessandro Cortini, and Jerome Dillon. Midway through the tour, Dillon was forced to stop playing due to a medical condition. He was initially replaced by Alex Carapetis, and then later by Josh Freese.[25][26]

The tour began with a small club tour in early 2005, and the band members were reportedly "pleasantly surprised by the interest" despite the group's lengthy hiatus between tours.[27] This initial leg of the tour also included a headlining performance at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.[28] The band followed up with a North American arena tour in autumn 2005, supported by Queens of the Stone Age, Autolux, Death from Above 1979, and hip hop artist Saul Williams.[29] The second leg of the tour consisted of a series of North American amphitheaters performances in the summer of 2006, supported by Bauhaus, TV on the Radio, and Peaches.[30] In 2007, a tour documentary entitled Beside You in Time was released in DVD, HD DVD, and Blu-ray formats.[31]

Reception[edit]

Sales and public reception[edit]

With Teeth debuted at number one on the Billboard album charts in May 2005. The album's first-week sales in the U.S. surpassed 272,000 copies, more than the 229,000 copies of The Fragile sold in its first week.[32] The album was certified Gold in the United States, 2× Platinum in Canada, and Gold in the UK.[33][34][35]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 71/100[36]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[37]
The A.V. Club (B)[38]
Robert Christgau (1-star Honorable Mention)[39]
Entertainment Weekly B+[40]
NME (7/10)[41]
Pitchfork Media (6.5/10)[42]
PopMatters (4/10)[43]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[44]
Stylus Magazine (A–)[45]
USA Today 3/4 stars[46]

With Teeth received mostly positive reviews from critics, with an aggregate rating of 71 based on 22 reviews on Metacritic.[36] Rolling Stone's Rob Sheffield described the album as "vintage Nine Inch Nails",[44] while Stylus Magazine said "The words 'triumphant return' are apt."[45] Rock critic Robert Christgau gave it a lukewarm review, commenting, "All pretense of deeper meaning worn into shtick, he's left with the aggro mood music that was always his calling." [39] Newsday gave With Teeth a rating of A– and called it "a strong reminder why, despite his lengthy absences, Reznor remains alt-rock royalty."[47]

Other critics panned the album, including The Village Voice, which described the album as "all paint-by-numbers with no topography or relief—just one angry distorted chord after another."[48] PopMatters critically slammed the album, summarizing its poor review by simply saying "Trent Reznor has run out of ideas."[49]

With Teeth was named one of the top 40 albums of 2005 by Spin magazine.[50] The song "The Hand That Feeds" was nominated for Best Hard Rock Performance for the 48th Annual Grammy Awards in 2006.[51] The song "Every Day Is Exactly the Same" was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2007.[52] Pitchfork Media named "The Hand That Feeds" in its "Top 500 Tracks of the 2000s", at number #406.[53] In 2005, Reznor was nominated by the Billboard Music Awards as the "Modern Rock Artist of the Year".[54]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written, composed and performed by Trent Reznor.

No. Title Length
1. "All the Love in the World"   5:15
2. "You Know What You Are?"   3:42
3. "The Collector"   3:08
4. "The Hand That Feeds"   3:32
5. "Love Is Not Enough"   3:41
6. "Every Day Is Exactly the Same"   4:55
7. "With Teeth"   5:38
8. "Only"   4:23
9. "Getting Smaller"   3:35
10. "Sunspots"   4:03
11. "The Line Begins to Blur"   3:44
12. "Beside You in Time"   5:25
13. "Right Where It Belongs"   5:04
Total length:
56:05

The track "Home" was originally a B-side to "The Hand That Feeds". On CD versions the track is placed after the last track, on vinyl it is placed after "Sunspots".[55] As mentioned above, the UK version also features an additional track, an alternate version of "Right Where it Belongs",[56] and the Japanese version also contains the alternate track, as well as a remix of "The Hand That Feeds" by Photek, bringing its track total to 16.[57]

Two more tracks recorded during the With Teeth sessions but never made it to the final tracklisting were "Non-Entity" and "Not So Pretty Now". Those can be found on the NINJA 2009 Tour Sampler.

Chart history[edit]

Chart procession and succession[edit]

Preceded by
Devils & Dust by Bruce Springsteen
Billboard 200 number-one album
May 15, 2005 - May 21, 2005
Succeeded by
Stand Up by Dave Matthews Band

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]